Lochside Garage

Woman over four times drink driving limit

A LOCAL woman who was stopped when more than four times the drink driving limit in Enniskillen last month had the highest alcohol reading the presiding judge had ever seen. 
Eileen Crawford (38) of Drumcor Road, Clabby, appeared at a remote sitting of Enniskillen Magistrates Court last Wednesday, where she pleaded guilty to drink driving. 
At around 4.15pm on Monday, October 5 police received a report of a suspected drink driver on the Tempo Road. Police who were on the Tempo Road located the Vauxhall car that had been described going very slowly around a roundabout, and stopped it on the Old Tempo Road. 
When the officers spoke with the driver, Crawford, they noticed a strong smell of alcohol. She told police she knew she should not have been drinking. 
Crawford was arrested and when brought to the police station she returned an evidential reading of 154 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath, more than four times the legal limit of 35 micrograms. 
District Judge Steven Keown said it was the highest reading he had ever seen, while solicitor John McCaffrey said it was “an exceptionally high reading” and the highest he had also seen.
Mr McCaffrey said on the day in question Crawford was drinking at home, which she had told him is not something she would normally do. Mr McCaffrey said the defendant also told him she did not have a drink dependency. 
The solicitor said Crawford had been attending an appointment at a vets near to where she was stopped, which he said was not an excuse but an explanation for why she had been driving her car in Enniskillen that afternoon. He noted the vet appointment had not been an emergency. 
Mr McCaffrey said Crawford deeply regretted her actions and was not trying to downplay the offence, which she knew was serious. 
The solicitor added Crawford worked at SWAH, and had no previous convictions. He asked the court to treat the offence as “a one off, but a serious one off.”
Judge Keown said the matter was very serious. He said Crawford was a frontline worker, working during difficult times, which “may or may not have played a part”, and noted she had no previous convictions and had entered an early guilty plea. 
Judge Keown added it had been a very high reading and said it was “pure luck and nothing else that no one was hurt.” He disqualified Crawford from driving for two years and fined her £300.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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